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Thursday, 14 February 2013
Page: 1469

Climate Change

Mr MURPHY (Reid) (15:07): My question is to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Attorney, will you update the House on recent international developments in tackling the threat of dangerous climate change? How do these developments highlight the importance of putting a price on carbon pollution?

Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsAttorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management) (15:07): I thank the member for Reid for his question, and I know of his very longstanding interest in this area. From this year, more than 50 national or subnational regions around the world will have a price on carbon pollution, covering around 1.1 billion people globally. Australia is responsibly playing its part. Our carbon price is already cutting dangerous carbon pollution to slow the devastating effects of climate change. Yesterday we saw President Obama again emphasising the importance of global action, calling on congress to bring in a carbon price. He said:

I urge this Congress to get together to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change—

a market based solution to climate change—

like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will.

The McCain-Lieberman bill was an emissions trading scheme, a market based mechanism just like Australia's. Here we have this Leader of the Opposition claiming he is at one with President Obama on climate change. He said it on radio not two weeks ago—a soul mate, no less. This is yet another blow to the Leader of the Opposition and his catalogue of phoney claims, especially his ludicrous pretence that the world is not acting. He said:

… there is no sign, no sign whatsoever, that the rest of the world is going to do things like introduce carbon taxes or emissions trading schemes.

No sign at all—except from China, Korea, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, the United States and another 40-odd countries.

This morning this Leader of the Opposition was at it again, ridiculously trying to claim that President Obama had ruled out an emissions trading scheme. Anyone who listened to the State of the Union address would know that that is just plain wrong. The Leader of the Opposition's rejection of sensible, serious, careful action on climate change goes against the wisdom of every living Liberal leader other than himself, against the wisdom of every leading scientist and economist, against the wisdom of prime ministers and presidents around the world, and against plain common sense.

Ms Gillard: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, I seek leave to table a document of quotes from Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, that says: 'We would never propose a carbon tax and have no intention of proposing one.'

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The Leader of the House.

Mr Albanese: It is an abuse. No. On what basis? You cannot just stand up; you did not ask a question.

Mr Randall interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Canning will withdraw.

Mr Randall: I do not think calling the member a clot is unparliamentary.

The SPEAKER: The member for Canning will withdraw.

Mr Randall: I withdraw.

The SPEAKER: Again, that was an absolute abuse.